Works Presentation Artists Press Download

Clémentine Mélois
September 18 - October 31, 2020
Extended to Saturday December 19 included

Clémentine Mélois is a friend of mine though I could say the same thing about her even if I did not know her.  Her posts on social media, during the  FMDL (first major depression-inducing lockdown) contributed to reduce the prevailing anxiety and make us smile, laugh, travel, dream or just think. Art confers its dignity to life and, sometimes, it restores it.

Clémentine Mélois’ works that you are about to discover (should you read the books in the order, starting with this foreword, this being statistically very unusual) can be savored alone  but also in the company of one or several others, things being at their best when shared.   When looking at CM’s book shelves, two heads would be better than one:  her collection of fake thrillers, put together for the Giono exhibition at MUCEM, dares to borrow from Pop Culture as in Clash of the Gypsies?  (Clash of the Titans, toga movie, 2010), A Thousand Times One Thousand Men  (line by the character played by Sam Karmann in the French movie La Cité de la Peur  or City of Fear, 1994), In airplane mode (literally …), etc.

In other words:  the core of Clémentine Mélois’ approach can be defined by one word: complicity. As a member of Oulipo, she accepts the risk of being ephemeral, derisory and forgotten, taking on the title of a thriller, published in the famous  “Série Noire”,  Sur un malentendu  (“Based on a misunderstanding”), that you can see on the “Giono shelve”,  the line being used by actor Michel Blanc in “Les Bronzés font du Ski”, 1979, (French movie part of the series  The Les Nuls Movies,  comedies based on puns and word play, somewhat inaccessible to non-French speakers). CM practices an openhearted complicity, without any regards for posterity, unafraid to stick magnets, showing details of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights on an eponymous Frigidaire or Pink Lady™ labels on Cézanne’s Still Life with Apples.  The way we look at the doors of the refrigerator and the labels of apples will therefore be modified.  And we can now understand that Clémentine Mélois does not introduce derision into art but quite the opposite, she introduces art into the derision of our lives.

Hervé Le Tellier

This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition at The Lara Vincy Gallery: A gallery Portrait  presents  one part of the installation first shown at Mucem, in Marseille, during the Giono  exhibition (October 30, 2019, to February 17, 2020, curated by Emmanuelle Lambert), completed by several new unseen pieces.

This collection, consisting of hundreds of books, paintings, sculptures, objects and videos, enables the artist to create a counter relief portrait of a motionless traveller, i.e. the reader. Walking through the large space of book shelves, we are surprised by familiar elements:  you will come across, among others, a number of Pléiades publications (La Pléiade: luxury editions, dedicated to publish most renown authors) with restyled titles, books that only exist in books  (by Tintin, Lovecraft, Perec  or Asimov),  Séries noires (famous French publishing house dedicated to thrillers) with strange titles as well as a selection of her rerouted covers, from her now cult collection Cent titres (Grasset, 2014).
Responding to the library, you find a series of classic paintings, by Pieter Brueghel, Hans Memling, Hieronymus Bosch or Gustave Courbet, mischievously revisited by the artist.
A curious visitor will no doubt want to linger about the prolific exhibition and keep awaiting another surprise, a smile or exchange a knowing wink.

The gallery has published a catalogue for this exhibition.

Clémentine Mélois

Born 1980 in La Ferté-Milon, France.
Lives and works in Nantes, France.

Clémentine Mélois graduated from the Paris School of Fine Arts, is a member of Oulipo and works as a writer and artist.  Her work consists of images and objects, combining elements of academic and common culture that play with literature, everyday life and art history.

Selected exhibitions:

- Giono, Mucem, Marseille, France.
- 100 artistes dans la ville - ZAT 201, organisé par le MO.CO, Montpellier, France.
- De deux choses l’une, galerie Lara Vincy, Paris. (personnelle)

Recent fiction publications:

- Dehors, la tempête, essai, Grasset 2020.
- On n’y échappe pas, Boris Vian et l’Oulipo, roman noir, Fayard 2020 (écriture collective).
- De deux choses l’une, catalogue d’exposition, éditions galerie Lara Vincy, Paris. 2018.
- Sinon j’oublie, recueil de textes, Grasset 2017.
- Cent titres, recueil d’images, Grasset 2014.